Issues & Interests

A man pulls a make shift trolley filled with goods at a fuel station with UN troops providing security in the area of Abidjan, Ivory Coast, Friday, March 18, 2011.
photo: AP

At least 1 million flee violence from Ivory Coast standoff

read more Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

DAKAR, Senegal — As many as 1 million people have fled their homes in Ivory Coast’s main city, Abidjan, to escape the increasing violence and collapsing economy stemming from the nation’s political crisis, the United Nations said Friday. Daily gunfire spurred by Laurent Gbagbo’s efforts to stay in power after losing a presidential election in…




A Syrian man rides his motorcycle at an empty street, as two posters of of Late Syrian President Hafez Assad and his son President Bashar Assad, seen in the background, in the southern city of Daraa, Syria, on Thursday March 24, 2011. Thousands called for liberty Thursday in the southern Syrian city of Daraa, defying a deadly government crackdown as they took to the streets in funeral marches for protesters killed by police gunfire, an activist said.
photo: AP / Hussein Malla

Syria: President offers freedoms after forces kill 37

read more Zeenews

Deraa: President Bashar al-Assad made an unprecedented pledge of greater freedom and more prosperity to Syrians Thursday as anger mounted following a crackdown on protesters that left at least 37 dead. As an aide to Assad in Damascus read out a list of decrees, which included a possible end to 48 years of emergency rule, a human rights group said a…




Egyptian protesters argue with military police during a rally in Cairo's Tahrir Square, Egypt, Friday, March 18, 2011, as demonstrators call for a "no" vote in Saturday's referendum on constitutional amendments. A package of key constitutional amendments sponsored by Egypt's ruling military will be put to a nationwide vote Saturday.
photo: AP / Grace Kassab

Egypt’s revolutionaries say abusive treatment persists

read more CNN

Egypt: Revolution in doubt? Cairo, Egypt (CNN) — “Where is the revolution going, the revolution that began in Tahrir Square?” asked a short brunette holding a microphone. “What happened to the revolution we created?” Human rights lawyer Ragia Omran repeated the question before a crowd of activists, concerned citizens and politicians from parties…



A Yemeni army officer, center, is kissed by an anti-government protestor during a demonstration demanding the resignation of Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh, in Sanaa,Yemen, Friday, March 25, 2011.
photo: AP / Muhammed Muheisen

Yemen’s Saleh says willing to quit under conditions

read more Yahoo Daily News

SANAA (Reuters) – President Ali Abdullah Saleh said Friday he was ready to cede power to prevent more bloodshed in Yemen but only to what he called “safe hands” as a massive “Day of Departure” street protest against him began. Western countries are alarmed that al Qaeda militants entrenched in the Arabian Peninsula country…


A U.S. Navy EA-18G Growler aircraft takes off from Aviano Air Base in Italy March 20, 2011, in support of Operation Odyssey Dawn to protect Libyan civilians and enforce a no-fly zone.
photo: USAF / Staff Sgt. Nadine Y. Barclay

Deal set for NATO to lead Libya ‘no-fly ‘ mission

read more The Boston Globe

WASHINGTONNATO will assume leadership from the United States of patrolling the skies over Libya, but the military alliance remains divided over who will command aggressive coalition airstrikes on Moammar Khadafy’s ground troops, NATO and US officials said yesterday. After a day of confusion and conflicting reports out of NATO headquarters in…

Live: Tensions rise in Syria, Libyan offensives continue
Some 20,000 people have taken to the streets of Deraa, Syria, to protest a brutal police crackdown there (photo). In LIbya,the allied offensive against the Gaddafi regime is in its sixth day.

Japan nuclear crisis drags on but experts hopeful
photo: US Navy / US Navy

Japan nuclear crisis drags on but experts hopeful

read more Hartford Courant

TOKYO (Reuters) – Workers battled to staunch radiation leaks at a Japanese nuclear plant on Thursday, almost two weeks after it was disabled by an earthquake and tsunami, but some experts saw signs of the crisis being brought under control. Hundreds of workers have been desperately trying to cool down the six reactors and spent fuel ponds at the…


Anti-government protestors shout slogans and wave their national flag during a demonstration demanding the resignation of Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh, in Sanaa, Yemen, Tuesday, March 22, 2011. Yemen's embattled U.S.-backed president said Tuesday that a military coup would lead to civil war and pledged to step down by year's end but not hand power to army commanders who have joined the opposition.
photo: AP / Muhammed Muheisen

Yemen president warns of coup and civil war

read more Gulf News


Sana’a: Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh told army commanders on Tuesday the impoverished Arabian Peninsula state could descend into civil war because of efforts to stage what he called a “coup” against his rule. Senior army commanders said on Monday they had switched support to pro-democracy activists who have been protesting for weeks, demanding that Saleh step down.

DefectionsSaleh suffered fresh defections on Tuesday when a diplomat and a former minister backed pro-democracy protestors demanding an end to his 32 year-rule.

Abdul Malek Mansour, Yemen’s representative to the Arab League, told Al Arabiya television he was siding with the protesters and water and environment minister Abdul Rahman Al Iryani, sacked with the rest of the cabinet on Sunday, said he was joining “the revolutionaries”.

The latest defections came after top generals, ambassadors and some tribes on Monday backed anti-government protesters in the Arabian Peninsula state in a major blow to Saleh’s efforts to ride out demands for his immediate exit.

France became the first Western power on Monday to call publicly for Saleh to stand down, with Foreign Minister Alain Juppe describing his departure as “unavoidable”.

Attention was set to shift to the United States and Saudi Arabia, two key allies who see Yemen as a bulwark against a dynamic Al Qaida network that has made skilful use of Yemen’s poverty, tribal system and central government dysfunction

China Testing Waters

Defections plague Yemeni leader

President Saleh faces increasing isolation after wave of military and political figures support pro-democracy uprising.

Egypt Elections

Hundreds of Egyptians line up at outside a polling station in Cairo, Egypt, Saturday, March 19, 2011 during referendum on constitutional amendments . Eager for their first taste of a free vote in decades, Egyptians formed long lines outside polling centers on Saturday to cast their ballots on a package of constitutional amendments sponsored by the ruling military. (AP Photo/Amr Nabil)

UN Approves Military Force Against Gaddafi Forces

The United Nations Security Council has approved military strikes on Libyan air defenses, a move following weeks of talks led by France, Britain and the United States to mobilize the international community to take action against the regime of Muammar Gaddafi, which is engaged in armed conflict with rebels.

US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, gestures, as she takes an unannounced walk through Tahrir Square, Wednesday March 16, 2011, in Cairo. U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton on Wednesday toured Cairo's Tahrir Square, the epicenter of the popular uprising that toppled Egypt's longtime autocratic leader last month. Surrounded by a heavy contingent of U.S. and Egyptian security guards, Clinton smiled, waved and shook hands with the Egyptian citizens who thronged her during her unscheduled 15-minute stroll through the square.
photo: AP / Pau J Richards, Pool

Clinton tours Tahrir Square in push for reform

read more Denver Post


Click photo to enlarge US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton leaves a press conference with Egyptian Foreign Minister Nabil el-Arabi, not pictured, in Cairo, Egypt, Tuesday, March 15, 2011. U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton was pressing Egypt’s transitional leaders Tuesday to follow through on pledges for democratic reform after the…

Gadhafi forces gain ground in march toward Benghazi

By the CNN Wire Staff (CNN) — The key Libyan city of Ajdabiya, the last major point between pro-government forces and the opposition stronghold of Benghazi, was slipping from the opposition’s hands Tuesday, witnesses reported.

Libya: G8 dismiss military intervention

Key town ‘falls’ to Gaddafi forces

A Libyan rebel mans an anti aircraft weapon on the border of the eastern town of Brega, Libya Friday, March 11, 2011. French President Nicolas Sarkozy remained unrepentant Friday in the face of a backlash from leaders angry at his diplomatic recognition of Libya's opposition council, arguing that working with the rebels was urgent to avoid turning Libya into a failed state.
photo: AP / Nasser Nasser

Libyan government forces say they’ve retaken Port Brega

read more The Los Angeles Times


Port Brega ‘has been liberated’ from ‘terrorist gangs,’ Libyan television says. Loyalists to Moammar Kadafi continue their advance toward rebel headquarters in Benghazi. Share Related Stories Links By Borzou Daragahi, Los Angeles Times

Anti-government protesters react to tear gas fired by riot police Sunday, March 13, 2011, along a main highway in Manama, Bahrain.
photo: AP / Hasan Jamali

Protesters Seal Off Bahrain’s Financial Center

read more The New York Times


CAIRO — Thousands of antigovernment protesters in Bahrain blocked access to the financial district in Manama, the capital, on Sunday, preventing many workers from getting to their offices and pushing back the police who tried to disperse them. It was the most serious challenge to the royal family that rules Bahrain since protests began last…

Israeli settlers and their supporters wave Israeli flags as they protest against the killing of five members of the Fogel family, including three children, in a knifed attack as they were a sleep in a West Bank settlement over the weekend by Palestinians, in Tel Aviv, Israel Sunday, March 13, 2011. Israel said Sunday it has approved building hundreds of settler homes after five members of the Fogel family, including three children, were knifed to death as they slept in a West Bank settlement over the weekend. The sign reads "Don't sign peace with blod".
photo: AP / Ariel Schalit

Israel Approves New Housing in West Bank

read more Wall Street Journal


By JOSHUA MITNICK ITAMAR, West Bank—Israel authorized the construction of hundreds of new homes in Jewish settlements in the West Bank in response to the killing of a married couple and three of their children in Itamar settlement late Friday, the prime minister’s office said. The new housing is slated for the large blocs of settlements in…

Pervez Musharraf, the former President of Pakistan, talks during the launch of his new political party, the "All Pakistan Muslim League" in central London, Friday Oct. 1, 2010.
photo: AP / Lefteris Pitarakis

Musharraf hints that Britain tacitly backed torture

read more The Guardian


Former Pakistan president ‘didn’t remember’ his country’s intelligence being told they should not torture British subjects Former Pakistan president Pervez Musharraf. Photograph: Carl Court/AFP/Getty Images…

Gadhafi Pushes Ahead as Arab League Calls for Help

Hussein Malla, AP

RAS LANOUF, Libya – Moammar Gadhafi tightened his grip Saturday on the coastal road linking his territory to the rebel-controlled east, pushing forward the front line in Libya’s grueling internal…

Japan Disaster Leaves Vistas of Devastation

Kyodo News, AP

SENDAI, Japan – She scanned the landscape of debris and destruction, looking at the patch of earth where Japan’s massive tsunami erased her son’s newly built house so thoroughly that she can’t even…

Massive and Deadly Radiation a Reasonable Fear

Technology is old, and Japanese population do not trust authorities reports of damage

Crisis in Japan: Video of Fires, Landslides, Stranded People

Experts: Gadhafi May Prevail in Libya Despite World Outrage

Mar 11, 2011 – 2:20 PM |AOL News


Despite mounting international pressure to get rid of him, Col. Moammar Gadhafi is beating back discouraged, outgunned rebels in Libya and winning, experts said today. Gadhafi is using “tens of…

Gadhafi is using “tens of billions” in cash stashed in Libya to pay loyalists and African mercenaries to mount a brutal assault on the rebels who oppose his 41-year regime, CNBC reported today.

His massively funded campaign is working. Gadhafi’s rockets and tank shells continued to smash the oil-producing towns of Ras Lanouf and Brega in the east today.

Pro-Gadhafi forces are locked in a bitter struggle for control of several other cities and towns along the coastline to the east of Tripoli, including Bin Jawad. But the rebels have been crushed in the city of Az Zawiyah, 30 miles outside Tripoli, where they had once gained some control.

Strikes on Ras Lanuf in Libya create an impasse on the eastern front
  • John Moore / Getty Images

Strikes on Ras Lanuf in Libya create an impasse on the eastern front

Posted By: Bryan Chan

Posted On: 9:27 a.m. | March 9, 2011

Fighting continues in Libya where, on Tuesday, government aircraft launched several airstrikes on Ras Lanuf, and hospital officials said at least 20 people were injured. Combined with tanks and artillery backing government forces about 30 miles west of the port city, the warplanes have halted the rebels’ advance toward Tripoli, the capital. The attacks appear designed to pin down rebels and… View Post»

Muslim-Christian clashes in the Egyptian capital Cairo have killed 11 people and wounded more than 90, security and hospital officials said on Wednesday.

The clashes broke out Tuesday night when a Muslim mob attacked thousands of Christians protesting against the burning of a Cairo church last week. Muslims torched the church amid an escalation of tensions between the two religious groups over a love affair between a Muslim and a Christian that set off a violent feud between the couple’s families.

Muslims and Christians Fight Deadly Battle in Cairo

Khaled Ali, AFP / Getty Images
Egyptians stand near a fire set after clashes this week between Muslims and Egyptian Coptic Christians in Cairo. At least 1,000 Christians gathered to protest the burning of a church last week, and a Coptic Christian was killed in the confrontations with Muslims.


The officials said Wednesday that the killed were six Christians and five Muslims, all died from gunshot wounds. They said 94 people were wounded – 73 Muslims and 21 Christians.

The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the media.

The clashes added to a sense of ongoing chaos in Egypt after the momentous 18-day democracy uprising that toppled longtime leader Hosni Mubarak on Feb. 11. The uprising left a security vacuum when police have pulled out from Cairo and several other cities three days into the uprising.

Cocoa growers protest an export ban by burning sacs of cocoa beans in front of the European Union office in Abidjan, Ivory Coast Thursday, Feb. 17, 2011. Ivory Coast's biggest bank shut down its operations Thursday, joining the companies fleeing the country's deepening political crisis, as hundreds of growers in the world's largest cocoa exporter burned their beans in protest.
photo: AP / Emanuel Ekra

Ivorian govt to control cocoa trade



Laurent Gbagbo, the disputed president of Cote d’Ivoire, has issued a decree under which the state becomes the sole purchaser of cocoa in the world’s top grower and handles its export to global markets. Monday’s announcement, made on state television, comes as renewed clashes break out in the West African country. “The export of products in the coffee and cocoa sector are to be carried out by the state, by those mandated by the state, or holders of an exporter’s licence under terms determined by the decree,” state television said.

Cocoa futures have broken 30-year highs since a disputed election in November that has triggered a power struggle between Gbagbo and rival presidential claimant Alassane Ouattara, who is internationally recognised to have won the vote.

Ouattara had earlier called for a month-long ban on cocoa exports in an attempt to cut off a key revenue generator for Gbagbo, who refused to cede power in the face of mounting international pressure.

Under the new Gbagbo decree, the state would purchase cocoa beans from farmers at a price determined by it and would then seek to get it to world markets, replacing the role of exporters who have widely followed a call by Ouattara to suspend supplies.

Cocoa supplies have been strangled by a combination of sanctions and the near-collapse of the local banking system, jeopardising a lucrative source of revenues for Gbagbo, who needs to ensure payment of army and public sector salaries to remain in power.

US Defense Chief Apologizes Over Afghans Killed in Strike

US Defense Secretary Robert Gates apologized for the killing of Afghan boys by American forces after talks with Afghanistan’s President Hamid Karzai.

Video: Gates: US Should Stay Involved in Afghanistan The Associated Press

Why is Robert Gates making a surprise visit to Afghanistan? Christian Science Monitor

Gates Apologizes for Afghan Civilian Deaths Voice of America

France’s Chirac goes on trial for corruption

Jacques Chirac becomes the first former French president to go before a judge when his month-long trial for corruption during his time as mayor of Paris in the 1990s begins on Monday.

Chirac, 78 and one of France’s most popular political figures despite the charges, stands accused of using public money to pay people working for his party while he was mayor of Paris, a post he held from 1977 to 1995.

He enjoyed immunity from prosecution as president from 1995 to 2007, but the case, which has already seen current Foreign Minister Alain Juppe convicted, has finally caught up with the former head of state.

The case could promptly grind to a halt, however, if a lawyer working for one of Chirac’s co-defendants succeeds in getting a procedural matter referred upwards to France’s constitutional court.

Chirac, best known internationally for his opposition to the 2003 US-led invasion of Iraq, has denied any knowledge of corrupt payments and his lawyers accuse magistrates of harbouring a hidden political agenda.

He has been linked to a series of corruption scandals but never convicted. If found guilty, Chirac faces up to 10 years in jail and a fine of 150,000 euros ($210,000) on charges including embezzlement and breach of trust.


Foreign Minister Seiji Maehara resigned Sunday after having accepted illegal political donations. It was another blow to Prime Minister Naoto Kan, who has only 20 percent support in the polls now.

Japanese Foreign Minister Seiji Maehara, center, walks out after his press conference to announce his resignation from the post at the Foreign Ministry in Tokyo, Sunday, March 6. Mr. Maehara said he is stepping down over accepting a political donation from a foreigner, which is illegal in Japan.

Junji Kurokawa/AP

China cracks down on foreigners

A Chinese policeman checks the identity of a foreign journalist, right, near the Xidan shopping district, one of two sites designated on an Internet call for protest in Beijing Sunday, March 6, 2011. Beijing is increasing its controls on foreign journalists amid calls on the Internet for anti-government protests styled on those rocking the Middle East and North Africa. (AP Photo)

Saudi Arabia bans public protest

Ruling by senior clerical council follows two weeks of Shia demonstrations and 22 arrests

Riot police and protesters in Awwamiya, Saudi Arabia Riot police and Shia protesters in Awwamiya, Saudi Arabia, on Thursday. Photograph: Reuters

Public protests have been banned in Saudi Arabia following demonstrations by minority Shia groups.

The ruling comes after widespread demonstrations in the Middle East – including those that led to the downfall of regimes in Egypt and Tunisia – and two weeks of Shia agitation in Saudi Arabia itself, during which 22 people were arrested.

A statement issued by the country’s council of senior clerics said: “The council … affirms that demonstrations are forbidden in this country. The correct way in sharia [law] of realising common interest is by advising, which is what the Prophet Muhammad established.

“Reform and advice should not be via demonstrations and ways that provoke strife and division, this is what the religious scholars of this country in the past and now have forbidden and warned against.”

The statement goes on to make clear the council’s stance against political parties, which are banned as they are deemed to be not in keeping with Islam.

The council’s position on elections to bodies such as the advisory Shura Council has been more ambiguous.

More than 17,000 people backed a call on Facebook to hold two demonstrations in Saudi Arabia this month, the first of which went ahead on Friday.

Saudi Arabia, the birthplace of Islam and home to its two holiest sites, applies sharia law and allows religious scholars wide powers in society. They dominate the judicial system and run their own police squad to enforce religious morals.

Many clerics campaigned for an elected parliament after the Gulf War in 1991 and more recently a loose alliance of liberals, moderate Islamists and Shias have petitioned King Abdullah to allow elections in the country, which has no elected parliament.

Last month, Abdullah returned to Riyadh after a three-month medical absence and announced $37bn in benefits for citizens in a bid to curb dissent.

Indian wayside vendors sell vegetables at a market in Allahabad, India, Sunday, Feb. 13, 2011. India's annual food inflation declined to a seven-week low as improved supplies eased prices of fruits and vegetables towards the end of January.
photo: AP / Rajesh Kumar Singh

UN: Global Food Prices Increase For Eighth Straight Month



Friday, 4 March 2011, 9:39 am Press Release: United Nations Global Food Prices Increase For Eighth Straight Month, UN Agency Reports New York, Mar 3 2011 9:10AM Global food prices rose for the eighth straight month in February, the United Nations Food and Agriculturetoday, while also warning that… Organization (FAO) reported,  unexpected spikes in oil prices could exacerbate an already precarious situation in food markets.

The FAO Food Price Index – a measure of basic food prices at the international level – averaged 236 points in February, up 2.2 per cent from January, the highest record in real and nominal terms, since the Rome-based agency started monitoring prices in 1990.

A Syrian university student, left, carries a picture of Syrian President Bashar Assad as he shouts slogans, during a protest in front of the Syrian embassy in Beirut, Lebanon, Monday, Feb. 21, 2011.
photo: AP / Ahmad Omar

Syria: Why is there no Egypt-style revolution?

read more BBC News


By Lina Sinjab BBC News, Damascus Continue reading the main story Related Stories Middle East protests: Country by country Damascus opens up to social networks Country profile: Syria As Syrians eagerly follow developments in the Middle East, they are – for the first time in almost four decades – also loudly discussing the politics at home.

UN urges mass evacuation of thousands fleeing Libya

GENEVA—The UN refugee agency and an international migrant group issued an urgent appeal Tuesday for the mass evacuation of tens of thousands of people fleeing into Tunisia from strife-torn Libya.

“The International Organization for Migration and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees are urgently appealing to governments for a massive humanitarian evacuation of tens of thousands of Egyptians and other third country nationals who have fled into Tunisia from Libya,” the two agencies said in a statement.

They noted that more than 75,000 people have crossed the Tunisian border since February 19, and that some 40,000 more are waiting on the Libyan side of the border to enter the neighbouring north African state.

“The two organizations deem this operation essential as the overcrowding at the border worsens by the hour,” they said.

The two agencies added that they have set up a humanitarian evacuation programme, but needed governments to provide “massive financial and logistics” aid, including planes, boats and experts.

Earlier Tuesday, the UNHCR warned that the situation on Libya’s border with Tunisia was reaching crisis point, stressing that tens of thousands were stuck and awaiting onward transportation to ferry them to other cities.

“It’s critically important that this onward transport becomes available to avoid the crisis,” stressed Melissa Fleming, spokeswoman of the UNHCR.

The spokeswoman also expressed concern that some waiting at the border to cross had been in the queue for as long as three days and that sub-Saharan Africans were in particular not being allowed into Tunisia.

“We’re very concerned that racism could be a factor” blocking the exit of sub-Saharan Africans,” she said.

“All borders, land, air and sea should be opened in a non-discriminatory manner. Anyone who needs to flee should be able to flee,” she added.

Meanwhile, at the Libyan border with Egypt, 69,000 people have crossed since February 19.

Many are Egyptians and have been transported to other cities across the country, with only 3,000 still awaiting transport, UNHCR said.

A violent backlash unleashed by Moammar Gadhafi’s regime against protestors has sparked a mass exodus from the country, mainly of migrant workers

Worldwide Pressure on Gadafi Tightens


  • Libya’s Deputy U.N. Ambassador Dabbashi on Gadhafi: “No one loves him”
  • It’s not clear who the opposition leaders are
  • Situation in Misrata stable
  • U.S. weighing whether to cut diplomatic ties with Libya

UN urges mass Libyan evacuationMigrants try to leave Libya across the Tunisian border, 1 March

The UN calls for a mass humanitarian evacuation for people who have fled from Libya as it suspends the country from its Human Rights Council.

Unidentified pro-Gadhafi security forces stand near a checkpoint on a street in Qasr Banashir, southeast of the capital Tripoli, in Libya, Tuesday, March 1, 2011. Government opponents in rebel-held Zawiya repelled an attempt by forces loyal to Moammar Gadhafi to retake the city closest to the capital in six hours of fighting overnight, witnesses said Tuesday. ((AP Photo/Ben Curtis))

A man detained by police officers near the planned protest site in Shanghai

China has arrested foreign journalists attempting to report on peaceful protests, which were being held for the second consecutive Sunday.


Large numbers of police officers were deployed to stop the rallies, which resemble pro-democracy movements in the Middle East and North Africa.

Hundreds of uniformed and plainclothes police aggressively pushed away foreign reporters with cameras and briefly detained several.

Police blew shrill whistles nonstop to keep protesters from coming close to the People’s Square in Shanghai. Water trucks, which are used to clean streets, have been brought out and police is using this as an excuse to prevent any gatherings.

US Ambassador to China Jon Huntsman on Monday condemned the harassment, detention and beating of some foreign reporters, who sought to cover the protests.

The campaigners behind the “Jasmine rallies” — a reference to the “Jasmine revolution” in Tunisia that sparked Islamic Awakening across the Arab world — said their movement had support in dozens of cities.

According to a newly created Facebook page called “Chinese Jasmine Revolution,” organizers have called for another round of protests this Sunday.

Online protest appeals have urged citizens to gather for subtle “strolling” demonstrations each Sunday in cities across China to highlight public anger with the government.

Analysts believe that the recurrence of the Sunday rallies would provide an opportunity for Chinese Muslims to set objectives for the popular movement by joining the protests.

An armed resident gestures a victory sign in the main square in Zawiya, 30 miles (50 kilometers) west of Tripoli, in Libya, Sunday, Feb. 27, 2011.
photo: AP / Ben Curtis

West moves to help Libya rebels as Gadhafi keeps hold in capital, where food prices spiral



TRIPOLI, Libya – The West moved to send its first concrete aid to Libya’s rebellion in the east of the country, hoping to give it the momentum to oust Moammar Gadhafi. But the Libyan leader’s regime clamped down in its stronghold in the capital, where residents said food prices have skyrocketed.

The U.S. military deployed naval and air units near Libya, and the West moved to send its first concrete aid to Libya’s rebellion in the east of the country, hoping to give it the momentum to oust Moammar Gadhafi. But the Libyan leader’s regime clamped down in its stronghold in the capital and appeared to be maneuvering to strike opposition-held cities.

In Washington, Defense Department spokesman Col. Dave Lapan said the naval and air forces were deployed to have flexibility as Pentagon planners worked on contingency plans, but did not elaborate. The U.S. has a regular military presence in the Mediterranean Sea.

The European Union slapped an arms embargo, visa ban and other sanctions on Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi’s regime, as British Prime Minister David Cameron told British lawmakers Monday he is working with allies on a plan to establish a military no-fly zone over Libya, since “we do not in any way rule out the use of military assets” to deal with Gadhafi’s embattled regime.

Men sit with their luggage while waiting for a bus to a displacement camp after fleeing Libya on February 27, 2011 in Ras Jdir, Tunisia. As fighting continues in and around the Libyan capital of Tripoli, tens of thousands of guest workers from Egypt, Tunisia and other countries are fleeing to the border of Tunisia to escape the violence. The situation is quickly turning into a humanitarian emergency as fledgling Tunisia is overwhelmed with the migrant workers. Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi has vowed to fight to the end.

Red Cross spokesman Joe Lowry, at the scene, told Sky News the situation was becoming increasingly chaotic.

“For past 12 hours, there has been a severe crush on the border, in the no-man’s land between the two countries,” he said.


2:40pm UK, Monday February 28, 2011

Libya: Exodus Sparks Humanitarian Fears

There are fears of a mounting humanitarian crisis as the violence in Libya forces thousands of refugees to flee the country.

Video: Sky’s Tim Marshall on the Libya-Tunisia border

The United Nations says more than 100,000 people have left Libya in the past week and the Red Cross estimates around 1,000 refugees are arriving on Tunisia’s border every hour.

Red Cross spokesman Joe Lowry, at the scene, told Sky News the situation was becoming increasingly chaotic.

“For past 12 hours, there has been a severe crush on the border, in the no-man’s land between the two countries,” he said.

Red Cross Spokesman: ‘We’re Working Flat Out’

Mr Lowry added: “There are around 2,500 people clamouring to get through.

“They are mainly Egyptian workers, but we have also spoken to people from Bangladesh, China, Thailand, Ghana, Mali and Mauritania.

“It’s a very tense situation and we have been working flat out to try to get aid to people.”

Sky News’ foreign affairs editor Tim Marshall, also at the border, added: “The Red Cross puts the number of people at around 2,500, but I think it has now swelled to 4,000.

“Thousands of people are stuck between the two borders and thousands more are coming in behind them.

“They are pretty angry because when they get here they are getting very little help.”

An aircraft was shot down while it was firing on the local radio station. Protesters captured its crew,” one witness told Reuters.

“Fighting to control the military air base (near Misrata) started on Sunday night and is still going on.

“Gaddafi’s forces control only a small part of the base. Protesters control a large part of this base where there is ammunition. Misrata is still under the control of the protesters.”

It comes after anti-Gaddafi forces at the weekend seized the key city of Zawiyah, just 30 miles from Tripoli.

The rebels claim around 2,000 troops loyal to the Libyan leader are surrounding the city and expect a counter-attack at any moment.

There are also reports of around 300 people protesting in eastern Tripoli.

Security forces are said to be heading to the scene of the march in the district of Tajoura, raising the possibility of a new confrontation, according to Reuters.


Libyan revolutionaries are the new “Lions of the Desert”

Breaking Dispatch From Inside Tripoli 2/27/2011 UPDATED [VIDEO]

A phone call from a Libyan in the UK who was able to call his brother.

by Libyan Youth Movement on Sunday, February 27, 2011 at 8:04am

Ok I finally got through to my older bro in Libya.

Up to this date 27/02/11 Sirt, Sebha, Tripoli and unconfirmed but also Kufra are still not liberated.

Aid has been getting through from Egypt, other countries like Qatar.


TRANSLATION @JazzThrowOut Yesterday a plane landed with 2000 Kalashnikovs and 18 million dinars in our city, to act as a bribe in order to verify gaddafi’s report that the city of Kufra? is under his control. We say that we are with the youth of feb17, and have siezed the plane’s ammunitions and distributed the kalashnikovs to the youth and have placed the money



Egyptians, who used to work in Libya, and fled the unrest in the country wait for their breakfast in a makeshift refugee camp set up by the Tunisian army, at the Tunisia-Libyan border, in Ras Ajdir, Tunisia, Friday, Feb. 25, 2011.
photo: AP / Lefteris Pitarakis

100,000 flee to Libya neighbours in past week: UNHCR

read more The Times of India


GENEVA: The UN refugee agency today said that “close to 100,000 people”, mainly foreign migrants, have fled Libya to neighbouring countries during the past week of turmoil in the North African nation. “UNHCR emergency teams are working with Tunisian and Egyptian authorities and NGOs (non governmental organisations) to support close to 100,000…

Government soldiers on top of an armored personnel carrier carry an image of the Virgin Mary as they lead the march celebrating the 25th anniversary of People Power revolution Friday, Feb. 25, 2011 in suburban Pasig City east of Manila, Philippines.
photo: AP / Pat Roque

Philippines marks 25 years since ‘People Power’

read more Kansas City Star


Bullit Marquez Philippine President Benigno Aquino III, center, Vice-President Jejomar Binay, left, and former President Fidel Ramos, right, link arms as they sing a patriotic song to celebrate the 25th People Power Anniversary Friday Feb. 25, 2011, at the People Power Monument along EDSA highway at suburban Quezon city, northeast of Manila,…

Egyptians protest in Tahrir, angry over new cabinet
photo: WN / Ahmed Deeb

Egyptians protest in Tahrir, angry over new cabinet

read more The Christian Science Monitor


Cairo Egyptians returned to Tahrir Square today to push for the fulfillment of the revolution that swept former president Hosni Mubarak from power two weeks ago. Related Stories Why some Egyptians wish their revolution had never happened With Mubarak gone, Egyptians turn to courts for justice How dictators stash their cash 101: Qaddafi, Mubarak,…

UN debates steps against GaddafiUNSC meeting, 25/02/11

The UN Security Council gathers to consider action against Colonel Gaddafi’s government over its attempts to put down an uprising.

Libya revolt

The UN Security Council is gathering in New York to consider action against Muammar Gaddafi’s government in Libya.

A draft resolution before it calls for an arms embargo, a travel ban and an asset freeze in response to its attempts to put down an uprising.

There is also a proposal to refer Colonel Gaddafi to the International Criminal Court on charges of crimes against humanity.

The UN estimates more than 1,000 people have died in the 10-day-old revolt.

The draft resolution before the Security Council is backed by Britain, France, Germany and the US.

The US has already imposed sanctions against Libya.


Obama refuses to rule out military intervention after late-night call to Cameron and Sarkozy

A Libyan gunman holds a weapon as he gestures, at Al-Katiba military base after anti-Libyan Leader Moammar Gadhafi protesters took control of the military base, in Benghazi, Libya, on Thursday Feb. 24, 2011.
photo: AP / Hussein Malla

Foes are closing in on Libyan capital

read more Pittsburgh Post-Gazette


BENGHAZI, Libya–Unrest drew closer to Tripoli, even igniting Thursday in areas of western Libya previously under tight government control, the day before a planned demonstration in the capital against President Moammar Gadhafi’s 41-year span in power, designed to coincide with the Muslim Sabbath. After braving days of extreme violence and seizing…

control of the oil-rich North African country’s eastern areas, anti-Gadhafi forces reportedly took control of the city of Zawiya, just 30 miles west of the capital.

Col. Gadhafi, in another characteristically rambling speech Thursday, acknowledged sustained fighting in Zawiya and described young protesters across Libya as drug-addled disciples of al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden. “It is clear now,” Col. Gadhafi said in the speech, phoned in to a news program. “Those who recruited our children are al-Qaida. It is bin Laden, otherwise known as international terror.”

File - U.S. Navy Petty Officer 3rd Class Isaiah Wallace, second from left, with the Kunar Provincial Reconstruction Team security force, stands guard outside the Asadabad hospital in Kunar province, Afghanistan, Dec. 13, 2010.
photo: USAF / 1st Lt. Nicholas Mercurio

Afghan probe says Nato killed dozens of Kunar civilians

BBC News


By Paul Wood BBC News, Kabul Continue reading the main story Taliban Conflict Make-or-break year ahead Can Afghan forces step up?

Afghan government investigators have told the BBC that 65 civilians, including 50 women and children, were killed in a Nato operation last week.

But the Nato force, Isaf, says its initial findings show that no civilians were killed in Kunar province.

It said more than 30 insurgents died in an overnight raid in the area.

On Sunday, the provincial governor said civilians had been killed in recent Nato-led air strikes in a remote mountainous district.

Afghans – from President Hamid Karzai down – believe that in Kunar province, indiscriminate Nato firepower killed 20 women, 29 children, and more than a dozen unarmed men.

Libya rebels isolate Gaddafi, seizing cities and oilfields


Opposition activists are increasing the pressure on Muammar Gaddafi’s ailing regime, shutting down oil exports and mobilising rebel groups in the west of the country as the revolution rapidly spreads.

Saudis cruise the streets with car covered with Saudi flags and pictures of the Saudi King Abdullad and Saudi Crown Prince Sultan after the convoy of the King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia passes from the Airport and through the streets of Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, Wednesday, Feb. 23, 2011.
photo: AP / Hassan Ammar

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia – Influential intellectuals have asked Saudi Arabia’s monarch to adopt far-reaching political and social reforms. They said in a statement Thursday that Arab rulers should derive a lesson from the uprisings in Tunisia, Egypt and Libya and listen to the voice of disenchanted young people. The group includes renowned Islamic Intellectuals

They said in a statement Thursday that Arab rulers should derive a lesson from the uprisings in Tunisia, Egypt and Libya and listen to the voice of disenchanted young people. The group includes renowned Islamic scholars, a female academic, a poet and a former diplomat.

The call for change came after Saudi Arabia’s 86-year-old ruler announced an unprecedented economic aid package, including interest-free home loans. The package, estimated at 135 billion Saudi riyals ($36 billion), was seen as an attempt to get ahead of potential unrest.

Protesters chant anti-Iraqi government slogans during a protest at Tahrir Square in Baghdad, Iraq, Wednesday, Feb. 23, 2011.
photo: AP / Khalid Mohammed

Iraqi PM to country: Stay away from Friday demo

read more The Guardian


HAMID AHMED Associated Press= BAGHDAD (AP) — Iraq’s prime minister warned his people to boycott a planned anti-government protestSaddam Hussein and al-Qaida. Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki gave no proof for his assertion in a nationally televised speech Thursday, which echoed… scheduled for Friday, saying it was being organized by supporters of

Iraq’s prime minister warned his people to boycott a planned anti-government protest scheduled for Friday, saying it was being organized by supporters of Saddam Hussein and al-Qaida.

Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki gave no proof for his assertion in a nationally televised speech Thursday, which echoed similar statements he’s made blaming terrorists and Saddam loyalists for an array of problems in the country.

His comments were the strongest to date on demonstrations slated to take place across Iraq that have been described as a “Day of Rage” on Facebook and in Internet postings calling for people to take part in the event.

Al-Maliki’s warning was another sign of the worry Iraqi officials feel that the uprisings demanding regime change in many parts of the Middle East will buffet Iraq as well.

Two Maltese army soldiers patrol near a Libyan fighter landed Monday at Gudja International Airport, Malta, Wednesday, Feb. 23, 2011.
photo: AP / Gregorio Borgia

Malta turns back ‘Gaddafi kin jet’

read more Al Jazeera


A Libyan plane reportedly carrying the daughter of Muammar Gaddafi, Libya’s leader, has been turned back from Malta after it was denied permission to land. “The [crew] initially said they had 14 people on board. They were circling overhead saying they were running low on fuel,” Cal Perry, Al Jazeera’s correspondent in Malta,…

At that point the ambassador from Libya who was here in Malta was called in to take part in the negotiations on whether or not they were going to allow this plane to land. “As he entered the talks it became clear from the pilots that Ayse Gaddhafi, Muammar Gaddhafi’s only daughter, was aboard the plane. The government said it was an unscheduled flight, it doesn’t matter who is on board; they said it cannot land and diverted the plane back to Libya.”

Libyans reacted with anger and derision to Colonel Gaddafi’s defiant speech. They fear he’s out to destroy the country before he’s finally deposed.

There are reports that some forces loyal to the Libyan leader, possibly foreign mercenaries, have attacked an airbase in the east of the country.

But apart from that, he’s lost complete control of this area, which is now patrolled by local militias. The belief here is that government control is now down to a few pockets, including parts of the capital Tripoli and other strongholds including the southern town of Sabha.

As well as Col Gaddafi’s interior minister, many senior generals have also defected, including General Mahmud, the commander here in the east and a veteran of the 1969 revolution.

Col Gaddafi’s support is down to an inner core, but he’s clearly not going to give up the fight.

Google has launched a Person Finder page in order to help victims of a powerful earthquake that hit Christchurch, New Zealand, on Tuesday reconnect

Bahrain unrest: Thousands join anti-government protest

BBC News –
Tens of thousands of Bahrainis have joined an anti-government rally in the capital, Manama. “The people want the fall of the regime,” protesters chanted on the first organised rally in the kingdom since protests erupted last week.

A train set on fire by a mob in Godhra, India is seen Wednesday Feb. 27, 2002.
photo: AP / str

India finds 31 guilty in deadly 2002 train burning

read more The Guardian


R.K. MISHRA Associated Press= AHMADABAD, India (AP) — A court investigating one of India’s worst outbursts of communal violence Tuesday found 31 Muslims guilty of setting fire to a train in which 60 Hindus were killed nine years ago. The court also acquitted 63 people of participating in the 2002 attack on the train packed with Hindu pilgrims in…

Image: A Libyan airforce pilot walks next to his Mirage F1 fighter jet after landing at Malta International Airport

Darrin Zammit Lupi  /  Reuters

A Libyan airforce pilot walks next to his Mirage F1 fighter jet after landing Monday at Malta International Airport outside Valletta. Two Libyan fighter jets and two civilian helicopters landed unexpectedly in Malta. The fighter pilots said they wre seeking asylum.
TRIPOLI — Military aircraft fired live ammunition at crowds of anti-government protesters in Tripoli, Al-Jazeera television reported Monday.

A Libyan man, Soula al-Balaazi, who said he was an opposition activist, told the network by telephone that Libyan air force warplanes had bombed “some locations in Tripoli.”

He said he was talking from a suburb of Tripoli. No independent verification of the report was immediately available.

The report came as protesters celebrated in the streets of the country’s second largest city Benghazi, claiming they were now in control after days of bloody fighting and after anti-government unrest spread to Tripoli, the capital, for the first time Sunday.

Human Rights Watch said Monday that at least 233 people had been killed since the protests began last week, but opposition groups put the figure much higher. Most were in Benghazi, a region where Gadhafi’s grip has always been weaker than elsewhere in the oil-producing desert nation.

Libya »

Venezuela denies Libya’s Gaddafi en route

Reuters – Saif al-Islam, Andrew Cawthorne

By Frank Jack Daniel CARACAS (Reuters) – The government of President Hugo Chavez denied on Monday reports Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi was traveling to Venezuela following violent protests in the fellow OPEC member nation.

Warplanes and Militia Fire on Protesters in Libyan Capital New York Times – BBC News – Bloomberg –

Pressure mounts on Libyan leaderAnti-government protesters depicted on a building in Benghazi, Libya, in an undated and unverified image obtained by AP

Col Gaddafi’s regime comes under mounting pressure amid unprecedented protests in the Libyan capital and defections by senior diplomats.

This Saturday, Feb. 12, 2011 photo shows Moroccan leader of a group of young activists calling itself "Democracy and Freedom" Oussama el Khlifi, during a demonstration in Rabat, Morocco. Moroccan websites are abuzz about a planned protest Sunday Feb.20 2011 against a royal leadership they consider out of touch. Moroccan authorities are giving it all an official shrug, despite a wave of popular uprisings in other Arab nations. A banned Islamist party, meanwhile, is using the moment to call for democratic change.
photo: AP / Abdeljalil Bounhar

Thousands join Morocco protest rallies

read more Breitbart


Moroccans gather in Rabat on Sunday for a protest demanding broad political… A group of Berber people hold their flag as they gather for a protest in Ra… Several thousand people rallied in Moroccan cities on Sunday demanding political reform and limits on the powers of King Mohammed VI, the latest protests demanding change that have rocked the…

Pro-Gadhafi supporters gather in Green Square after traditional Friday prayers in Tripoli, Libya, Friday, Feb. 18, 2011.
photo: AP / Abdel Meguid al-Fergany

84 Dead In Libya Protests In 3 Days: Human Rights Watch

read more Huffington Post

Disturbing new details are coming out of the Libya protests. Government security forces have killed at least 84 people in three days, Human Rights Watch said in a news release Friday night. Even though people were protesting peacefully, according to HRW, security forces killed 20 people in Benghazi, 23 in Baida, three in Ajdabiya, and three in..

Chaotic Violence escalates in Yemen

The Yemeni capital Sana’a experienced its most violent clashes between pro- and anti-government demonstrators to date on Thursday as protests continued for the seventh consecutive day. Thousands of protesters faced off in a street battle that took place at a major intersection in the city.

Inspired by revolutions in Tunisia and Egypt, opposition activists have increased calls for Ali Abdullah Saleh, president of 32 years, to step down. Yet Saleh, who has recently made a host of concessions that include a pledge not to seek reelection in 2013, still holds some support in the country. (See photos of clashes in Yemen.)

On Thursday, crowds toppled the iron fences separating the two camps and fought under a constant hail of stones. Members of both sides, wielding sticks, batons and chains, led charges back and forth to the sound of sporadic gunfire. Dozens with head injuries fled the scene for treatment at a nearby hospital.

Security Forces Fire Tear Gas at Protesters in Bahrain

Feb 18, 2011 – 10:40 AM |AP

Hassan Ammar, AP

MANAMA, Bahrain – Soldiers fired tear gas and shot heavy weapons into the air as thousands of protest marchers defied a government ban and streamed toward the landmark square that had been the …

An Egyptian army soldier tries to stop anti-government protesters as they walk towards Tahrir Square in Cairo, Sunday, Jan. 30, 2011.
photo: AP / Emilio Morenatti

Mid-East unrest: The discontent shaping new Arab world

read more BBC News


By Jeremy Bowen BBC Middle East editor Continue reading the main story Mid-East Unrest Latest updates Live Bahrain protests: Your stories Egypt’s media revolution Bahrain: Global concerns…


Cairo: Two Iranian warships withdrew their application to transit the Suez Canal after Israel expressed concerns over the plans, a canal official said on Thursday. The official said no reason was given for the decision to withdraw the application. The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorised to speak to the media, also said it was not known if the vessels intended to transit the waterway at a later date. Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman claimed on Wednesday that Iran was about to send two warships through the Suez Canal for the first time in years, calling it a “provocation”.

An Iranian helicopter flies over Iran's Jamaran guided-missile destroyer, in an exercise, in the Persian Gulf in Iran, Sunday, Feb. 21, 2010.
photo: AP / IIPA, Ebrahim Norouzi

Israel warns Iran is preparing to send warships through Suez Canal into the Mediterranean

read more The Australian


ISRAEL has warned Iran and its ally Hezbollah not to test it, charging that Tehran was preparing to send warships into the Mediterranean as the Lebanese militia…

Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said that Israel could not ignore the planned sailing of two Iranian naval vessels through the Suez Canal into the Mediterranean en route for Syria and Defence Minister Ehud Barak labelled the act “hostile”.

“Tonight two Iranian warships are supposed to cross the Suez Canal into the Mediterranean Sea on their way to Syria,” Lieberman told a conference of American Jewish leaders in Jerusalem.

He said an Iranian naval presence in the area was something that had not occurred for many years and was a “provocation that proves the self-confidence and cheek of the Iranians is growing from day to day.”

“The international community has to understand that Israel cannot ignore these provocations for eternity,” Lieberman said.

Libyan women walk in front of a billboard showing Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi, in Tripoli, Libya, Tuesday, Aug.18, 2009.
photo: AP / Amr Nabil

Libya latest casualty of Arab world unrest, protesters target Gaddafi

read more Indian Express

Hundreds of Libyans calling for the government’s ouster took to the streets early Wednesday in the country’s second-largest city as an Egypt-inspired unrest spread to the country long ruled by Muammar Gaddafi. In a sign that displayed the severity of the unrest that has spread across the Arab world

Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi attends a ceremony marking the birth of Islam’s Prophet Mohammed in Tripoli on Feb. 13. (Ismail Zitouny/Reuters)

Those who said that ‘winds of change’ were blowing through the Middle East were right. The past two months have seen a series of stunning political shifts across the region and are now reverberating along the North African coast, through the Gulf, and up into the Levant. Here is a look at where those ‘winds of change’ are taking us.

Social Media may trigger change in Libya, Iran, Bahrain

Internet and social media platforms which emerged as potent tools for churning up dissent in Egypt and Tunisia continue to play a crucial role even in the latest upheaval in Libya, Bahrain as well as in Iran.

A woman sorts garlic at a wholesale market in Gauhati, India, Friday, Dec. 31, 2010. According to new reports, a rise in vegetable prices, especially onion, pushed India's food inflation to a 10-week high in the week ended Dec. 18.
photo: AP / Anupam Nath

Food prices at dangerous levels: World Bank

read more The Times of India


WASHINGTON: Rising global food prices has pushed an estimated 44 million more people into extreme poverty in developing countries over the past eight months, the World Bank said on Tuesday. The poverty-fighting institution said its food price index increased by 15 percent between October 2010 and January 2011 and is just 3 percent below its 2008…

New study: Stuxnet virus repeatedly targeted Iranian industrial facilities – BBC

Originally launched against Iran’s nuclear program, the Stuxnet virus infected five industrial facilities

A powerful internet worm repeatedly targeted five industrial facilities in Iran over 10 months, ongoing analysis by security researchers shows.Stuxnet, which came to light in 2010, was the first-known virus specifically designed to target real-world infrastructure,  such as power stations.  Security firm Symantec has now revealed how waves of new variants were launched at Iranian industrial facilities.

Italy’s Berlusconi indicted in prostitution probe

Italian Premier Silvio Berlusconi ordered to stand trial on charges he paid for sex with a 17-year-old Moroccan girl, then tried to cover it up

Judge orders Italian prime minister to stand trial on charges of paying for sex with an underage prostitute and abuse of office Silvio Berlusconi, who faces up to three years in prison on the juvenile prostitution charge, and up to 12 years on the charge of abusing his official authority.

Berlusconi, who faces up to three years in prison on a charge of paying an underage prostitute, and up to 12 years on a charge of abusing his authority.  Berlusconi heard the news while in Sicily, where he made no comment, but immediately canceled a scheduled press conference and flew back to Rome.

Ecuadorans protest outside a court in Lago Agrio 180 kms (110 miles) northeast of Quito, Ecuador outside a trial against Chevron-Texaco on Tuesday, Oct. 21, 2003.
photo: AP / Dolores Ochoa

Chevron fined for Amazon pollution by Ecuador court

read more BBC News


Continue reading the main story Related Stories Texaco faces $1bn lawsuit Ecuador country profile A court in Ecuador has fined US oil giant Chevron a reported $8bn (£5bn) for polluting a large part of the country’s Amazon region. The oil firm Texaco, which merged with Chevron in 2001, was accused of dumping billions of gallons of toxic materials…

Yemeni anti-government protestors shout slogans during a demonstration demanding political reform and the resignation of President Ali Abdullah Saleh in Sanaa, Yemen, Monday, Feb. 14, 2011. More than 1,000 people protested in Yemen  for a fourth straight day Monday, demanding political reforms and the ouster of the U.S.-allied president in demonstrations inspired by the upheaval in Egypt.
photo: AP / Hani Mohammed

Rocks and batons fly as Yemen protests erupt in violence

read more The Jordan Times


Tweet – Rocks and batons flew in central Sanaa on Monday as pro-democracy protesters clashed violently with police and supporters of President Ali Abdullah Saleh, witnesses said. Clashes between police and protesters also broke out Monday in the city of Taez, south of Sanaa, where thousands of people joined demonstrations against Saleh, witnesses…

Tugboats sail near Pedro Miguel Locks as cargo ships pass through the Panama Canal in Panama City, Tuesday, Oct. 14, 2008. Panama is set to receive US$2.3 billion in loans to expand the Panama Canal, nearly half the money it needs to complete the seven-year project, the canal's administrator said Tuesday.
photo: AP / Arnulfo Franco

Beijing backs railway rival to Panama Canal

read more The Independent


It could one day become the most dramatic symbol of China’s new economic incursion into South America: a 220km railway line bisecting the neck of Colombia just south of Panama, creating a whole new means of moving goods at low cost between the Pacific and the Atlantic. Talks between Colombia and China on building a rival route to the venerable and…

Afghan police men arrive near the site of suicide bombing in Kabul, Afghanistan, Monday, Feb, 14, 2011. An explosion rocked a shopping and hotel complex on Monday, killing at least two people, officials said, in the second attack in less than a month inside the heavily secured Afghan capital.
photo: AP / Dar Yasin

Suicide bombing at Kabul shopping mall kills at least two

read more The Los Angeles Times

A Taliban spokesman claims responsibility for the attack in Afghanistan’s capital. Share By Laura King Los Angeles Times Staff Writer…

An Italian Coast Guard vessel rescues a boatload of would-be migrants believed to be from North Africa in the waters off the Sicilian island of Lampedusa, Italy, Sunday, Feb. 13, 2011.
photo: AP / Daniele La Monaca

Italy Seeks to Use Forces to Halt Illegal Immigrants From Tunisia

read more Herald Tribune


ROME — Italy’s interior minister said Sunday that the country hoped to send its armed forces to Tunisia to help stem the flow of illegal immigrants, after more than 3,000 Tunisians arrived by boat on an Italian island in recent days. “I will ask Tunisia’s foreign minister for authorization for our forces to intervene in…

U.S. Army military policeman Spc. Keith Moody from Westerly, R.I. inspects a mosque from a distance during a reconaissance mission near a mosque in Fallujah, Iraq, Tuesday, July 1, 2003.
photo: AP / John Moore

St. Valentine and the Politics of Christian and Muslim Martyrs

read more


Article by Correspondent Dallas Darling. “The person who loves his life will lose it, while the person who is not afraid to die in this world will keep it for eternal life.” -Jesus “Martyrs write the history of nations because the history of nations can only be written with sweat and blood.” -Mujahedin Fighter There is no historical validity…

Two supporters of the Iran's main pro-reform presidential candidate, Mir Hossein Mousavi, hold his posters  at the Azadi (Freedom) stadium in Tehran, Iran.
photo: AP / Vahid Salemi

Iran arrests opposition leader Mousavi ahead of rally

read more BBC News


Continue reading the main story Related Stories Profile: Mir Hossein Mousavi Iran ‘house arrest‘ for Karroubi Iran ‘holds opposition activists’ Iranian police have placed opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi under house arrest, his official website says. It says the move is intended to block him from…

An Italian Coast Guard vessel rescues a boatload of would-be migrants believed to be from North Africa in the waters off the Sicilian island of Lampedusa, Italy, Sunday, Feb. 13, 2011.
photo: AP / Daniele La Monaca

Italy Seeks to Use Forces to Halt Illegal Immigrants From Tunisia

read more Herald Tribune

ROME — Italy’s interior minister said Sunday that the country hoped to send its armed forces to Tunisia to help stem the flow of illegal immigrants, after more than 3,000 Tunisians arrived by boat on an Italian island in recent days. “I will ask Tunisia’s foreign minister for authorization for our forces to intervene.

The UN Security Council is gathering in New York to consider action against Muammar Gaddafi’s government in Libya.

A draft resolution before it calls for an arms embargo, a travel ban and an asset freeze in response to its attempts to put down an uprising.

There is also a proposal to refer Colonel Gaddafi to the International Criminal Court on charges of crimes against humanity.

The UN estimates more than 1,000 people have died in the 10-day-old revolt.

The draft resolution before the Security Council is backed by Britain, France, Germany and the US.

The US has already imposed sanctions against Libya.


President Obama calls fellow leaders on Egypt

President Barack Obama makes a statement about Egypt in the Grand Foyer of the White House in Washington, February 11, 2011. By Patricia Zengerle WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama on Saturday welcomed Egypt’s new military rulers’ commitment

The GuardianMiamiHerald.comBBC NewsIndependent

INDIA KASHMIR UNREST: Kashmiri Muslims offer Friday prayers as Indian police stands guard during a strike to mark the 27th death anniversary of Jammu and Kashmir Libration Front (JKLF) founder Maqbool Bhat in Srinagar on February 11, 2011. Indian police detained scores and fired teargas in revolt-hit Kashmir to ward off protesters demanding the return of the remains of a separatist leader hanged more than 25 year ago. AFP

Algeria fears massive protests after Mubarak resigns

Algeria deployed riot police around the capital Saturday, fearing a large anti-government rally.

Algeria sent thousands of riot police into place around the capital Algiers Saturday fearing a large anti-government rally a day after demonstrations forced Egypt’s President Hosni Mubarak to step down.

The Algerian government has banned the rally, and there is a fear that the unauthorized protest will lead to violent clashes between the demonstrators and government forces.

Security forces closed all entrances to the capital and began arresting people Saturday morning.

Countries in North Africa and the Middle East have seen a number of protests and political rallies calling for reform and an end to high unemployment, low wages and corruption. The calls for reform were fueled by last month’s overthrowing of Tunisian leader Zine El authorities Ben Ali.

Algerian authorities fear the overthrowing of both Ben Ali and Mubarak will lead to stronger calls for reform at home. Police stopped people from celebrating Mubarak’s resignation Friday, reports the BBC.

Algeria has had a state of emergency in place since 1992 and bans all demonstrations. However, in early February President Abdelaziz Bouteflika reportedly promised to lift the state of emergency soon.

The Independent reports that the deployment of riot police dissuaded many protesters from joining the rally.

“I am sorry to say the government has deployed a huge force to prevent a peaceful march. This is not good for Algeria’s image,” Mustafa Bouachichi, a leader of the League for Human Rights, told the Independent.

Algeria is a major oil and gas exporter and widespread unrest could deeply impact the world economy.



Bolivian President Evo Morales flees food price protest

Bolivian President Evo Morales, 1 January 2011 Mr Morales is facing rising discontent over food shortages

Bolivian President Evo Morales has abandoned a public event in the face of an angry protests over food shortages and price rises.

Mr Morales was due to address a parade to commemorate a colonial-era uprising in the mining city of Oruro.

But he and his team left the city to avoid a violent demonstration by miners throwing dynamite.

There have also been protests in other Bolivian cities over the shortage of sugar and other basic foodstuffs.

Mr Morales cut short his visit and returned to La Paz after protesters set off explosions close to where he was preparing to give a speech in Oruro, the capital of his home province in western Bolivia.

“The government took the decision not to respond to shameful provocations of this kind,” presidential spokesman Ivan Canelas said

Supporter of the People Alliance for Democracy (PAD) or Yellow Shirts dance during a demonstration outside the government house in Bangkok, Thailand Friday, Feb. 11, 2011. The demonstrators vowed not to loose any more territory to Cambodia.
photo: AP / Apichart Weerawong

Thai protesters demand prime minister’s ouster

read more CNN

Bangkok, Thailand (CNN) — Thai yellow shirt protesters on Friday demanded the prime minister’s resignation over what they say is his failure to protect the interests of the nation. Hundreds chanted “get out, get out Abhisit”…


The BBC and Al-Jazeera English reported on Thursday evening that Egypt’s President Hosni Mubarak may be stepping down sooner than many anticipated.

The news spread like wildfire through Tahrir Square, where demonstrators have gathered for seventeen days calling for Mubarak’s resignation and transition to a demoncratic government.

At 5:20pm Cairo time, Al-Jazeera English’s headline ran: ‘NDP chief says Egypt’s ‘Hosni Mubarak will step down tonight.’” BBC reported similar news, saying the new Secretary General of the ruling National Democratic Party had told the BBC that Mubarak would “probably” make a statement tonight and he “hopes” power will be turned over to Egypt’s new Vice President, Omar Suleiman.

Around 5:30pm Cairo time the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces made a statement – and President Mubarak was conspicuously absent. The statement was vague, but underscored the army’s duty and responsibility to safeguard the people and the interests and resrouces of the people and the nation.

Wael Nawara, Secretary-General of the opposition al-Ghad party, told Al-Jazeera English that he expects “this means President Mubarak will have to step down.”

In this undated photo released by supporters of Chen Guangcheng, blind activist Chen Guangcheng, center, is seen in a village in China.
photo: AP / Supporters of Chen Guangcheng, HO

Released China activist says still effectively in jail read more Hartford Courant

BEIJING (Reuters) – A blind Chinese activist who campaigned against forced abortions and land grabs has spoken out for the first time since his release from prison, saying that he remains effectively jailed due to constant surveillance. The video testimony from Chen Guangcheng, one of China’s most prominent “rights defenders,” underscores the…



Anti-government protesters demonstrate in Tahrir Square, in Cairo, Egypt, Tuesday, Feb. 8, 2011.
photo: AP / Tara Todras-Whitehill
Egyptians staged one of their biggest protests yet on Tuesday demanding President Hosni Mubarak step down now, their wrath undiminished by the vice president’s announcement of a plan to transfer power. Protesters, many moved by a Google executive’s tearful account of his detention by security forces, poured into Cairo’s Tahrir Square to pack a…

Chinese paramilitary soldiers march past a portrait of Sun Yat-sen, the revolutionary hero claimed by both Taiwan and China, overlooking visitors to Beijing's Tiananmen Square, amid a historic visit by the leader of Taiwan's Nationalist Party to China Wednesday April 27, 2004.
photo: AP / Elizabeth Dalzie

Taiwan general Lo Hsieh-che held on China spy charges

read more BBC NewsContinue reading the main story Related Stories Taiwan’s forgotten amateur spies ‘Taiwan spy‘ executed by Beijing ‘Soft power‘ raises Taiwan’s profile A Taiwanese general has been detained on suspicion of spying for China – the highest-ranking officer involved in alleged espionage in decades. Maj Gen Lo Hsieh-che was recruited by China in 2004…



North Korean Army soldiers, background, look at southern side as South Korean Army soldiers stand guard at the border village of Panmunjom in the demilitarized zone separating the two Koreas, South Korea, Wednesday, Oct. 20. 2010.
photo: AP / Ahn Young-joon

Talks between rival Koreas collapse

read more Al Jazeera Military talks aimed at easing tensions between South and North Korea collapsed during their second day when the North withdrew from discussions, according to a South Korean government official. The rival Koreas began discussions on Tuesday, in the border village of Panmunjom, the first talks since the North’s shelling of

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, right, arrives with his lawyer Jennifer Robinson, left, at Belmarsh Magistrates' Court in London, Monday, Feb. 7, 2011. Assange  is accused of sexual misconduct by two women he met during a visit to Stockholm last year and Swedish authorities want him extradited to face the allegations. A two-day hearing that begins Monday will decide Assange's legal fate.

WIKILEAKS founder Julian Assange would be tried behind closed doors in a “flagrant denial of justice” if extradited to Sweden over sex crime allegations, his lawyer told a British court today. The 39-year-old Australian appeared at…
photo: AP / Matt Dunham

An America Online trailer is seen at the AOL headquarters complex in Dulles, Va., Monday, Oct. 15, 2007.

February 7, 2011: 8:22 AM ET NEW YORK (CNNMoney) — AOL, the online media company that has recently snatched several smaller content firms, has agreed to purchase news blog service The Huffington Post for $315 million, the two companies announced…
photo: AP / Charles Dharapak

Bangladesh opposition Nationalist Party or BNP activists applaud during an anti-government rally in Dhaka, Bangladesh, Wednesday, Feb. 2, 2011. BNP has called for a day-long general strike on Feb. 7 to protest against a case filed against its chief Khaleda Zia.

(AP) DHAKA, Bangladesh (AP) – Authorities raided the headquarters of the opposition party in the Bangladeshi capital Monday as they tried to end the group’s strike to protest spiraling commodity prices and crime. In other parts of the country, police
photo: AP / Pavel Rahman

A Palestinian holds a banner during a weekly demonstration supporting Palestinians evicted from their homes in the east Jerusalem neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah, Friday, Nov. 12, 2010.

JERUSALEM – Jerusalem’s City Hall says a key committee is pushing forward with plans to build a new Jewish housing project in anArab neighborhood in east Jerusalem. Thirteen apartments are to be built in Sheikh Jarrah, one of the most volatile…
photo: AP / Bernat Armangue

Italian Premier Silvio Berlusconi, left, and Economic minister Giulio Tremonti  attend a debate at the lower chamber in Rome, Tuesday, Dec. 14, 2010. Premier Silvio Berlusconi has won back-to-back votes of confidence in the Italian parliament but has been left with a razor-thin majority that will make it hard for him to govern effectively. In the second and most dramatic of Tuesday's votes, Berlusconi survived a no-confidence motion in the lower house by three votes. Voting was briefly interrupted after scuffles broke out during the tense session.

MILAN (AFP) – Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi’s cabinet will meet on Wednesday to adopt measures aimed at boosting economic growth as Italy battles with high debt and youth unemployment, a government source said. The gathering of…
photo: AP / Gregorio Borgia